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Full text of "The Concord saunterer"

THE CONCORD SAUNTERER 




March 1963 , Vol 3 No 1 

The Saunterer - 6 

"What, then, was Thoreau? 

"The man of whom I speak was the friend of 
my childhood and early youth, and living and 
dead has helped me, and in no common way. It 
is a natural duty, then, to acknowledge thank- 
fully this help and render homage to his mem- 
ory, because his name and fame, his life and 
lesson, have become part of America f s property 
and are not merely the inheritance of the chil- 
dren who dwell by the Musketaquid." 

- Edward Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau 
as Remembered by a Young Friend 



We are pleased to announce that the 152- page 
biography of Thoreau quoted above by Ralph Waldo 
Emerson f s son Edward is being reprinted by the 
Lyceum. Literally, it has been printed, is 
now being bound in hard covers, and the 3000 
copies may be on our doorstep quite possibly 
before you read this. It is priced at $3*00 
plus 25^ mailing (with an added 10^ for 
Massachusetts customers). Orders are now being 
taken by your civil and obedient servants here. 



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Bookstores will have them, too, but with our 
first book vie are reluctant to tell strangers 
that it is "in press"; that doesn f t make as 
good an impression as the hard copy. 

If you aren f t familiar with this scarce, 
out-of-print but delightful collection of 
reminiscences, this is your chance • First 
printed by Houghton, Mifflin in 1917, it 
followed Channing, Sanborn and Salt. It is 
lighter and more anecdotal than these three, 
and certainly highly deserving of reprint. We 
are grateful to the Emerson family for per- 
mission to reprint, and feel it does justice 
to the friendship between the Emerson and 
Thoreau families 



The Massachusetts legislature did pass 
the wetlands bill. This will insure water- 
shed reserves, prevent flood damage and 
drought cycles, as well as aiding wildlife. 
Maybe this is why it can be called the Marsh- 
All Plan.... Time and other media carried 
Frederick McGill 1 s observation that Thoreau 
wasn't a hippie, nor was William Ellery 
Channing. While dropping out of secure but 
stultifying jobs, both men were rejecting 
conformity. • Thoreau particularly sought to 
front on life by giving up what he desired 
least in order to leave time and a little 
money for the essentials.... Last fall we were 
pleased to see Mr. Henry David Thoreau, _ Jr. , 
on from California to study at Harvard Business 
School. Roland Robbins had met him quite a 
few years earlier, and was convinced of his 
true identity by his Army "dogtags"o This 
personable gentleman finds no objection to 
his name, and is called "H.D." r&ther than 
Hank. He reported that when he was married, 
the party was told by a friend that since Toro- 
meant bull, that perhaps his wife was getting 
a bum steer. It does seem that this augury 
is capable of other interpretations, however, 
as we trust was the case here..o 



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H.C. AND ANDREW WYETH EXHIBIT 

We have chosen for our spring exhibit graphic 
reproductions from the works of Newell Convers 
Wyeth and his son, Andrew Wyeth. Since the father 
was best known for his book illustrations, these 
are, so to speak, originals - or the -work as de- 
signed for presentation, though in spite of limi- 
tations in printing. In the case of the son, we 
are showing a collection of his earlier book illus- 
trations as well as reproductions of his paintings 
and drawings. 

Recent advances in color printing are such 
that, in the words of Andre Malraux, we can now 
have "museums without walls 11 and gather a collection 
of reproductions under one roof, and at a modest 
cost which tells an honest story of an artist almost 
as a book does of an author, without the need of a 
manuscript. Quite often, too, the originals are 
behind walls that are hundreds or thousands of miles 
apart • 

Our choice of the Wyeths is fortunate, since 
Men of Concord , a collection of excerpts from Tho- 
reau*s Journals > showing Henry 1 s enjoyment of his 
neighbors also reveals the senior Wyeth at his 
best. Incidentally, two of the originals are in 
the Concord Library. 

Since N.C. Wyeth f s first published illustration 
in 1903 - a Saturday Evening Post cover of a buck- 
ing bronco - and since the illustrations of his 
teacher, Howard Pyle, who brought him to his school 
in Delaware and to nearby Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 
graphic art has had to contend with the reproduction 
process - register and color fidelity being bug- 
aboos. In some cases, these limitations have shaped 
the artist f s work to simplify it and give it poster- 
like qualities. Sometimes this has been beneficial, 
but as reproduction processes improve, the artist's 
self-imposed controls can take over. Here the self- 
disciplined simplicity and focus of Andrew Wyeth f s 
portrayal of human subjects and the sense of their 



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surroundings will be particularly appealing to 
Thoreauvians • 

The exhibit opens on Sunday, March 24th, 
and will continue for at least a month© If you 
will pardon our thumbtacks and other props, we 
think you will enjoy this loan exhibit - our 
community effort - and hope you can drop in. 



Concord: Climate for Freedom , by Ruth R. Wheeler, 
has just been published by the Concord Antiquarian 
Society. As those who know her would suspect, she 
has presented a most readable history, neither 
written down nor hoked up, but rich in details of 
the original settlement in 1635 of this first 
community beyond tidewater. The theme continues 
through the Revolution and the nineteenth century. 
The report on Thoreau is relatively brief but dis- 
cerning. A profusion of well-chosen photographs 
add to the book. We have them in stock at the pub- 
lished price, $12.50 (plus 25^ mailing, and 3 $ 
Mass. tax for inmates) 



Eliot Porter has been featured in last Decem- 
ber's issue of Natural History and September's 
Modern Photography . He expresses his admiration 
for Ansel Adams, whose work he discovered before 
the earlier Alfred Stieglitz, whom he also admires, 
Porter's popularity suggests that he shares the 
appeal of these two photographers. Sale of In 
Wildness in paperback passed the 150,000 copy mark 
by Christmas, and we are restocking it. The color 
register has been kept at high quality. His book, 
The Place No One Knew , about Glen Canyon on the 
Colorado, is also due in paperback at the same 
price - $3.95. 

The costs of color printing in the United 
States are only met with longer press runs, true 
in both books and magazines. For costly more 
limited editions, color printing involves more 
labor per copy and can only be done abroad and 
imported. Together, both means furnish some of 
our needs. The magazines Audubon and Natural 
History have joined the National Geographic in 



- 5 - 

their use of color photography. 

As opposed to Thoreau f s day, we can enjoy 
within the town limits the sound of music of 
a quality surpassing his, photographs that 
are art, and art reproductions that are hard 
to tell from originals* Yet it still remains 
for us to learn to see anew and for ourselves. 
While there may be more geese in Concord 
today, there is less nature. For the rabbit 
that started before our feet last week, our 
predecessors would have started many more, 
The habitats of the whip-poor-wills have di- 
minished here of late. While last year f s 
heifer still bawls her matins by the Assabet, 
her kith and kine-folk will be in other fields, 
henceforth. 

To Maine, to New Hampshire, to Cape Cod 
(but not on weekends) we must go to hear the 
loon, to see the fisher cat snarl over his 
shoulder, to learn the trick of scenting a 
fox, to find a porcupine -chewed deer antler... 



The Lyceum is open from 1:00 to 5:00 
every afternoon except Monday. Mrs. Thomas 
Wo McGrath has been induced to accept the 
position of curator without the limiting 
prefix interim. Mr. and Mrs. Milton Paige 
have been holding the fort on Saturdays,, 
so that the rest of us could observe the 
female bittern in all her bitterness... 



LIBRARY FOR THE LYCEUM 

Mr f and Mrs. Robert Moore recently con- 
tributed $500 to insure a better start for 
the Lyceum 1 s library, and Malcolm Ferguson 
agreed to apply this sum to the out-of-print 
book market, with which he professes a fa- 
miliarity. We were able, through these means 
to get a set of the works in the 1906 twenty 
volume Walden edition from the Phoenix Book- 
shop in Berkeley , whose proprietor gra- 
ciously added Henry Bugbee Kane*s Thoreau f s 



- 6 - 
Walden to the bargain* We are also indebted to 
Professor Benjamin Gr onefold of Buffalo, whom you 
may know. He also responded with a set of the 
Journals in the Houghton, Mifflin 1949 edition. 
While this duplicates with the Journals in the 
1906 edition, we are glad to have it, and plan to 
keep it. The books in this edition open out well, 
and are durably bound. Two sets is none too many. 
By a further transaction, we have acquired a large 
chunk of Professor Gronewold's Thoreau collection. 
This includes an attractive first edition of A 
Yankee in Canada , and an I863 Walden Biographies 
include Joseph Wood Krutch f s in the British edi- 
tion, Henry Beetle Hough's, Henry Seidel Canby f s, 
(which has a dust wrapper by N.C. Wyeth - end- 
papers from Men of Concord ) , and an uncommon English 
biography by H.Ao Page: Thoreau; His Life and Aims , 
Chatto and Windus, (lS80*n Also in the collection 
are the Bode Collected Poems , and the Corre spondence 

in both the earlier version and the later, as well 
as A Word Index to Walden , by Sherwin and Reynolds, 
and a first of The Heart of Thoreau 's Journals , beinf 
one of 300 copies. 

We are pleased to add the Meltzer and Hardingc 
k Thoreau Profile , since it is apparently out of 
print • Thoreau items are increasingly hard come 
by, and such items as these - I see I omitted 
H.G.O. Blake's Thoreau 's Thoughts , and a copy of 
VIen of Concord , which we now nave a spare of - an 
unusual state of affairs, which won't remain long. 
Professor Gronewold is giving us his first of 
Cape Cod , which was given him by Anton Kovar, so 
this is from them both, as it were. Also an in- 
scribed copy of Bazelgette is a gift from the 
professor. We trust that he will see our greatly 
improved library on his next visit. 



We plan to stock C.R. Anderson's Magic Circle 
>f Walden , published by Holt at $7.95. This will 
oe merely a notice or preamble, and in our next 
imble, more will be said on this book... 



Lew Dietz's The Allagash is due in July, also 
from Holt at #7.50771 



- 7 - 

The Lyceum's bookstore has for sale a set 
of the Journals in the Houghton, Mifflin 1949 
set. The fourteen volumes are in good con- 
dition and are priced at $175 • (plus the same 
3% for Massachusetts addressees) . Let f s also 
allow $2.50 for packaging & mailing. 



Mrs. McGrath reports two interesting visit- 
ors, one to the Lyceum and one to the farm. 
The former was Professor Peveril Meigs, who 
is a geographer and climatologist , retired. He 
has been for the last 15 years chairman of the 
Arid Zone Commission of the International Geo- 
graphical Union. Now he is returning to his 
homeland and to the Concord of Simon Willard 
and his son Josiah and daughter-in-law, Hannah 
Hosmer. Walden Pond fascinates him, and his 
14-year record of its freezings and thawings 
are available as colored pictures. If we can 
arrange to fit in these pictures, we f ll do so. 
Incidentally, like Professor Meigs, Thoreau has 
been acknowledged as an ecologist and a lim- 
nologist. As for the latter, not in the 
Ganges, but in Walden Pond, bathing one's limbs 
is one way of becoming familiar with ponds 
and making one an ff -ist ff ... 

The other visitor was four-legged, a fox 
in fact. He was a mangy one, so that there's 
always a bit of fear of rabies. But he was 
soon gone. 



Our first map reproduction is by Herbert 
W. Gleason from the 1906 set. This is on an 
attractive off white paper - ivory -in brown 
ink. It measures 13" by 17 fl and includes the 
index. It's a dollar at the Lyceum - 25^f for 
a mailing tube, which will take care of the 
surcharge on one or more maps..o There are 
other maps of this region which warrant re- 
production; a set of Lexington, Bedford, Con- 
cord, Lincoln, Carlisle from the l#70s, with 
the houses indicated with the owners' names. 
So you see we have by no means shot our bolt. 



THE THOREAU LYCEUM 
MEMBERSHIP/ RENEWAL 

ANNUAL DUES 

Member c. $3 

Friend of the Lyceum 10 
Contributing Member. 25 
Life Member 100 

4$ Belknap Street, Concord, Massachusetts, 
01742. Telephone 617-369-5912. Non-profit & 
tax-exempt •